In 2019, Congress passed the Television Viewer Protection Act of 2019 (the “Act”). This Act was originally set to become effective on June 20, 2020, but the FCC delayed the Act’s effective date to December 20, 2020, citing COVID-19 as the cause.
The Act requires providers of covered services (i.e., cable operators) to provide transparent pricing information to consumers, including:
the total monthly service charge;
related administrative fees, equipment fees, or other charges;
a good faith estimate of any tax, fee, or charge imposed by a governmental entity; and
a good faith estimate of any fee or charge that is used to recover an assessment imposed on the provider by a governmental entity.
Under the Act, consumers are also allowed to cancel service contracts within 24-hours of entering into a contract without paying early cancellation fees or other disconnection fees or penalties, and consumers cannot be charged for using their own equipment to access a provider’s services, including broadband Internet service.
Finally, when providing a consumer an electronic bill, a provider must include in the bill:
an itemized statement that breaks down the total amount charged for or relating to the provision of the covered service by the amount charged for the provision of the service itself and the amount of all related taxes, administrative fees, equipment fees, or other charges;
the termination date of the contract for the provision of the covered service entered into between the consumer and the provider; and
the termination date of any applicable promotional discount.
In the Matter of Implementation of Section 1004 of the Television Viewer Protection Act of 2019, MB Docket No. 20-16 (Rel. Apr. 3, 2020).
Bradley Law, LLC is located in Woodbury, MN and serves clients in and around Newport, Lake Elmo, South Saint Paul, Afton, Saint Paul Park, Cottage Grove, Lakeland, Inver Grove Heights, Saint Paul, Willernie, Dakota County, Ramsey County and Washington County.
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